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  • Writer's pictureLouise Worner

Seashell Miniature Ikebana for Children

Miniature Ikebana using seashells and barnacles as vases.

Miniature Ikebana is one of my favourite arrangements to make with children. Very little material is required, and a variety of different objects can be used as vases.

Our summer vacation was spent in the province of Galicia in northwest Spain. We spent carefree days on the beach collecting an assortment of shells and barnacles. My daughters were delighted to discover that both hold water and are small enough to use as vases for Miniature Ikebana.

Selecting shells with interesting shapes and colours to use as vases.

On our return home, my daughters were eager to try out their new miniature ‘vases’. They selected shells with interesting shapes and colours. Most Miniature arrangements should be placed on a tray or a mat as a way to connect the several small vases. As my daughters had used shells for vases, to replicate the feeling of sand, I used sandpaper as a mat.

Sandpaper is used as a tray to connect the several small 'vases'.

The aim of Miniature Ikebana is to highlight interesting details within plants and flowers, while focusing on a small part of a flower, leaf or seed. To help children focus on the small details of plants, I usually ask them to pretend to be a ‘plant detective’ and with a magnifying glass they need to try and discover the most interesting parts of a plant.

Using a magnifying glass to discover interesting parts of a leaf.

With magnifying glass in hand, my eldest daughter was captivated by the lines an insect had made on a clover leaf, as well as the colour variation on a crepe myrtle leaf that had fallen to the ground. Normally, she would have stomped on both of these as she played in our back-garden. Taking the time to notice the insignificant things in our garden has given her an appreciation for what treasures may lie underfoot.

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